The challenge of how to find good employees is daunting. Not only are there a lot of career websites out there, but it can be difficult to know if you’re reaching the right people for your business. For event rental companies, there are essentially two different groups of people you’ll need to hire: event-background hires and labor hires. You’ll likely be looking in different places for each group, so we’ll discuss them separately.
While many companies post on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor for new talent, we actually recommend against it. You’ll likely get a large pool of people with random, non-applicable backgrounds that you’ll have to sort through. Instead, try reaching out to industry-focused organizations, posting ads in your local news’ website, on your social media accounts (don’t forget about Facebook Jobs!), and via word of mouth. This will help you attract individuals who better understand the job, are local, and who (hopefully) come with recommendations from people you already know and trust. Let’s dive into how to find good employees
Attract good talent
But first, there are some things you can do to attract rockstar talent— these will go a long way in keeping your talent with your company, too. First, set a competitive wage. While keeping wages lower keeps your overall pricing lower, you're less likely to attract hard-working, loyal employees. Having a competitive wage will go a long way in finding skilled talent and keeping them. Don’t forget, training takes time and energy away from your current employees, so keeping people on staff will save you money long-term. There are a number of no-to-low cost options that even small companies on a tight budget can manage.
Next, make sure that there are clear responsibilities, expectations, and SOPs (standard operating procedures) for the positions you are hiring for— nothing sets a new employee up for failure quite like unclear expectations. Ensuring that they have proper training and support from the beginning will go a long way to creating an enriching and rewarding work environment for your new hires.
Find good talent
If you're having trouble getting good talent to come to you, go after them! Some great places to find good hires are:
- Post in regional Facebook groups (e.g. hiring groups, college job groups, and special interests)
- Job listings through industry organizations (e.g. NACE, ILEA, MATRA)
- Local schools (high schools, colleges, universities)
- Special hobby groups (ROTC, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America)
- Uber and Lyft Drivers (yes! You can just ask! They have flexible hours, after all!)
We go into more depth below on which employees you're likely to find in these locations— read on!
Vetting your prospects
In addition to collecting previous experience, also check out your new prospects on social media— and no, I don’t mean LinkedIn. Do what you can to find your potential employees on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media can tell you a lot about a person’s personality, habits, skills, that may not be obvious on their resume, during their interview, or when you check their references.
Side note: If your employees will need to drive a truck, you will, of course, need to make sure they are a responsible driver.
Event background candidates
These potential new hires are the salespeople, designers, administrators, and planners for your team. Ideally, they will have experience for the positions you’re hiring for, but there are some clear benefits to hiring people without experience in an area and training them yourselves.
For starters, you can pay them a lower starting wage than a highly qualified individual. You’ll also be able to train them to your way of doing things; said another way, they won’t come into your company with established habits and methods that don’t align with your processes. Check out local colleges and universities for hospitality, marketing, and design majors that are eager for a career and solid experience. You never know what talent you’ll uncover!
If you’re in need of a highly skilled new hire, make sure to post job listings to professional industry organizations, such as NACE, ILEA, and WIPA, to name a few. Members searching for new career opportunities will likely be skilled people with good experience to bring to the table. LinkedIn is also an excellent place to post career opportunities in your area.
Labor background candidates
Professional and reliable warehouse, delivery, and driver hires are challenging to find. Paying a competitive wage will go a long way in both attracting and retaining talent. If you low-ball your employees wages, do not expect the same level of commitment as you would for a well paid team member. If you're in need of full-time hires, have you considered hiring full-time employees with a lower salary, then giving bonuses in the busy season? This could be a revenue-saving and rewarding experience for you and your employees, and make you stand out against other employers.
We recommend checking local high schools, colleges, and universities for these positions, as you’re likely to find energetic people who need job experience. Other places to look for part-time help include ROTC programs or Eagle Scouts. Those participating in these programs already know how to work with a team and are highly motivated individuals. Also consider thinking outside the box— if you have a great Uber or Lyft driver, why not ask them how they’d feel about driving a truck on the weekends? This can be a fantastic way to find not only part-time, but full-time hires. Sometimes you find the best employees in unexpected places, so don’t be afraid to ask around!
Your BEST bet for good talent is referrals. You will only get those by creating a happy, healthy work environment for your existing staff. If your staff is unhappy and underpaid, you'll never get them to promote you to their friends (or stick around) and you'll continue to run into this problem. If they are happy, consider adding a referral bonus (but pay out at the end of the season pending them sticking around!)
Tackling the challenge of how to find good employees is difficult— especially if you’re seeking highly skilled individuals. Typical employment sites are saturated with a various assortment of people and can be overwhelming to sort through, so we recommend using searching methods a little close to home. While word of mouth is an ideal way to find new employees, colleges and universities are also a great way to find promising and enthusiastic team members. And of course, your local news source’s website is always an excellent way to find local help. Think outside the box and put the word out today!